Hey Everyone :)
Tonight, the season four World Of Dance qualifiers continue. Last week, the contestants were shocked as they thought they would be performing in front of producers. However, judges Jennifer Lopez. Derek Hough, and NE-YO surprised them in a stripped down warehouse.
They danced to try and either receive a pass to the next round (the duels) or be given a callback to return and improve. This evening, new dancers will try and impress for the chance at continuing on in the competition. We begin the show with…
The Rise, a hip-hop crew with the upper division. One of the group members is from last season but he is back with an all new crew. If you remember, he didn’t have a relationship with his father. Unfortunately, things have not improved but he is not letting it get him down. His new crew wants to spread love and a positive message. They are quite good. A different presentation than most hip-hop crews, which is a blessing since a lot can seem familiar with this type of dancing. They utilize their team members very well because some get individual moments to shine away from the group. But when they are all dancing together, it is very uniform with solid steps and a nice groove. The only hiccup came at the end when the final dancer missed a trick. It was glaring and took the judges out of it but it came at the very last moment of the routine.
Jennifer sees the intention to detail. Derek says with this setup, there is nothing to hide behind. He thinks they did a great job considering. Ne-Yo feels all the parts that stood out were good but he wants the in between stuff to be better. Ne-Yo votes CALLBACK. Jennifer is a YES. Derek gives his vote- a CALLBACK. The Rise doesn’t make the duels right off the bat but they get a callback.
Up next are Oxygen, a contemporary/hip-hop crew from the Netherlands. They represent the upper division. Wow. This is gorgeous. It is like looking inside a kaleidoscope. The movements these girls do with their hands and legs while standing in a line is thrilling, fresh, and exciting. They are really innovative with how they put a routine together. I can see the contemporary and hip-hop fusion really well here. Excellent stuff.
Derek says it made him feel like he has never seen it before. He calls it stunning. Jennifer says her dancers tried that but they couldn’t be as clean. Ne-Yo can’t believe how long it takes to make sure everything is perfect. All the judges exclaim YES and they make it to the duels.
Out next are Indigenous Enterprise, a Native American crew with the upper division. They mesh Native American dance with hip-hop. They have received some real love in the industry, including being in a major music video. Very cool. Very different. Something absolutely fresh to a show like this. I’m not so sure the quality of it would stand out against other crews though. While fun to watch and to marvel at, I think they would unfortunately be eaten alive by more polished crews with better routines.
Jennifer calls it interesting with so much energy. Ne-Yo loves how freely they can move. Derek says dance is primal and this was that. He loves the tradition and history. Jennifer loves being exposed to this type of dancing. Derek doesn’t feel it will be competitive. He says NO. Ne-Yo agrees and gives a NO. Jennifer is the same. They all agree it was beautiful and new but the final verdict is a no.
We continue tonight with James & Harris, a contemporary duo with the juniors. They met in ballet class and have been best buddies ever since. They describe themselves as dudes who love to dance. Yikes, they are a little bit on the annoying side. Thankfully, they are decent dancers. IF I’m being real, nothing about that routine was particularly exciting as most of it was contemporary stuff we see a million times. They have potential though if they can up the ante with smart routines that tell better stories.
Jennifer says they were a little nervous at the top but she was encouraged by the dancing. Ne-Yo wanted to see how they would do under pressure. Derek wants some of the musicality to improve. He also wants it to be cleaner. Jennifer says YES. Derek offers them a CALLBACK. Ne-Yo, the deciding vote, gives them a YES and so, they have made it to the duels.
As we continue tonight, we meet 305, a Latin ballroom team with the juniors. They danced with Jennifer at the Super Bowl! Wow. They are very excited and then quite shocked to be in front of the judges. They are adorable. I always find it a little comical when younger kids do those adult Latin ballroom steps. But no denying they do them well. A load of tricks in there and some good partnering work. Of course, the level of dance quality will need to remain that high or even higher for them to compete on here but that was very entertaining.
Jennifer calls them and the routine good. Derek felt the missed moments. He wanted a better routine. Ne-Yo doesn’t want to see when they mess up because it showed. All three judges give them a CALLBACK, so they will return to prove they can go to the duels.
And since we have entered the Latin ballroom point of the show, we meet upper division contestants from Italy, Luca and Alessandra. The secret they say is the Italian blood. They are partners for twenty-six years. They are also a couple. DANG. That was one strong as hell Argentine tango. I’m talking the pros we see on Dancing with the Stars strength dancing. Just pitch perfect from beginning to end and so fitting. A talented pair and one to watch if they can keep up offering routines like that.
Jennifer loved the connection and the passion. Derek enjoyed the footwork. Ne-Yo is thrilled by the sensuality of it. Of course, without question, all three judges say yes and they make it to the duels. Surprisingly, they aren’t actual Argentine tango dancers but they stepped out of their usual style to do something special for the judges. Good stuff.
Upeepz are up next, a hip-hop crew representing the upper division. They are the adult version (and coaches) of last season’s Vpeepz, the junior champions. They all have different full time jobs so they rehearse late at night. They have tons of energy walking into the audition. Whoa. I haven’t seen a hip-hop crew that clean in a long time. Totally dancing together as one despite doing some very intricate steps. They are practiced to perfection and I mean that as a compliment. Quite the fun routine as well with many memorable and sometimes quirky moments. Love them.
Ne-Yo sees where Vpeepz gets it from. Derek says they lived up to their name. Jennifer wants them to surpass the junior version. She wants it to feel gritty and dirty. Ne-Yo wants the choreography to have more energy. Derek wants more creativity in the choreography. Jennifer gives them a CALLBACK. Derek says YES. Ne-Yo, the deciding vote, gives them a YES. They make it to the duels. All I can say is, Jennifer made a mistake there because this group absolutely deserved a spot in the duels.
We conclude this evening with Styles and Emma, a ballet duo with the uppers. He works forty hours a week doing fast food. Yes. He rehearses when he can. He moved to be a partner with Emma and they have been dancing together for about a year and a half. His mom was diagnosed with a brain tumor when he was fourteen. She’s his best friend. The struggle made him appreciate her so much more. She pushed him to move and go fulfill his dreams. Very emotional story there. Ballet requires so much strength and talent. It is like contemporary times ten and requires a certain poise and elegance on top of selling the story within the dance. These two are breathtaking Absolutely breathtaking. Such gorgeous movement and fluid crisp dancing. The best of the night for sure.
The judges didn’t want it to end. Ne-Yo didn’t know who to concentrate on. Derek found it poetic. Jennifer says it so beautiful and graceful. SHE GOT GOOSIES. All three give an obvious yes and they make it to the duels. Phenomenal pairing.
That’s it for this episode. Next week, the qualifiers continue. Thanks for watching with me tonight and I hope everyone has a safe and healthy week. Ill see y’all on Tuesday night. :D